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Simplifying Gari Processing In Ghana

Client/Funder: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Location: Ghana
Catapult Service Line: Design
Thematic Area: Agriculture


Meal preparation in a West African household can be a multi-day task. Cassava, a staple crop across Africa, is often harvested, washed, peeled, grated, mashed, roasted, and milled in order to make gari, a popular West African food. Preparation is resource-intensive. It also requires access to various tools, like graters, peeling tools, and roasting pans. The majority of these tools are informally made and the roasting process requires sitting over a hot campfire stirring hot grains, typically by women or girls.

Because gari is consumed on a daily basis by more than 70% of West African households, its production is an opportunity for small-scale producers to enter the market and increase their income, similar to what the WFP has done in Sierra Leone. To get there, we are excited to work with Burro, a West African social enterprise to design new gari processing tools that aim to decrease processing time while improving the health and safety of those making gari.


Catapult is leading the design process with Burro and will begin the project with field research with select households with a goal of having a pilot-ready prototype in six-months time. In addition to households, we will collaborate with behavioral change specialists and M&E technology organizations to evolve concepts and prototypes to meet the needs of gari producers. Our work includes:

  • assessing and comparing similar cassava processing products worldwide
  • conducting in-country end user and key stakeholder research
  • vetting current prototype and design principles against insights from research
  • developing and field-testing alternative prototypes
  • identifying and local manufacturers and designing for manufacturability
  • completing final designs and bill of materials


At the conclusion of the project, Burro had a production-ready prototype to take to a vetted manufacturer for high-volume production. The Burro Gari Elephant™ allows for twice the productivity with half the firewood.